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13 Aug 2017

Belarus, Kazakhstan need to restore mutual trade of $1bn

ASTANA, 14 August (BelTA) – Belarus and Kazakhstan need to return their mutual trade back to the level of $1 billion, Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said at the opening of the Belarus-Kazakhstan business forum in Astana held as part of Made in Belarus. Astana exhibition on 13 August, BelTA has learned.

“Kazakhstan is one of Belarus’ major trading partners and third among the CIS member states in the trade turnover. Unfortunately, in 2016 the trade between our countries fell by 27% a compared with 2015 to total $420 million. However, the trade figures over the sixth months of 2017 are showing trends of recovery. The increase made up more than 180%. We need to take joint efforts to strengthen this positive tendency. The results of 2014, when the mutual trade in goods and services reached $1 billion, should be used as an orienting point. I am confident that this figure is not the limit of our abilities,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

The PM stressed that the further expansion of economic relations is one of the most important tasks for the two states. “I believe that here, in Astana, Belarus does not need any special presentation. Business forums with the participation of the heads of government have become a good tradition in the relations between our countries and are aimed at the full realization of our mutual potential. Despite the current difficult times in Europe, Asia, and the whole world, we should think about the life of our peoples and their future. The main counter-weight to new challenges is the development of the common market and a balance of interests. The creation of strong unions is the right step towards the stable world. In this respect we expect considerable results for our states from the activity of the Eurasian Economic Union,” he said.

According to Andrei Kobyakov, new challenges required macro and micro-economic measures which have already started producing results. In 2017, Belarus posted a growth in GDP, industrial production, and also a surplus in the foreign trade in goods and services. The slowdown in inflation and the stabilization of the currency market enhanced the level of confidence in the Belarusian national currency. Besides, Belarus launched the implementation of a new export diversification strategy.

The Belarusian head of government said that the country has a lot to offer to its partners. Belarus accounts for 30% of the global haul truck market, 10% of the global tractor market and 7% of the combine harvester market. Belarus is the world’s third exporter of flax fiber. The country is in the world’s top 20 in the export of sugar, coleseed oil, beef, and dairy products. “Kazakhstan also has a big economic potential in the most different spheres, modern manufacturing plants and highly-qualified personnel,” he said.

Taking part in the Belarus-Kazakhstan business forum are more than 120 representatives of different Belarusian structures. The event is attended by heads of the country’s biggest companies: MTZ, MAZ, Amkodor, Gomselmash, Belshina, Molodechnomebel, Grodno meat packing plant, Minsk Kristall, Kommunarka. The forum is held as part of Made in Belarus. Astana expo. The products of 70 Belarusian producers of goods and services are on display.

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